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Weekly Better Bedding Selling Tip #10 - The Eight Features that are the Most Important to Your Shopper

Furniture World Magazine

By Gordon Hecht & Denny Bradford, Ashley Sleep

When you go to buy your next car-the #1 goal you want to achieve is to get from Point A to Point B.  Getting a new Flat Screen TV? Your goal is entertainment. When your next shopper comes in for a mattress-the result they want is A Great Night’s Sleep!

The question becomes-how do they expect to achieve this? In polling over 500 Retail Sales Associates-here is what is reported as important to most shoppers:

  • Comfort
  • Support
  • Durability
  • Motion Isolation
  • Appearance
  • Availability
  • Cost/Value
  • Warranty

Surprised?  It seems that sometimes we believe that Price, Promotion, and Warranty should be at the top.  But none of those will get your shoppers the Great Night’s Sleep they deserve! You can help them focus on restorative sleep by asking what they hope to gain with their mattress purchase.

The first three are easy!  Comfort is derived from the top 3”-5” on the sleep surface.  Great mattresses have the best “ingredients” at the top, not buried below several other layers. Support comes from the base material on the mattress, whether it is foam, innersprings, water, or air.  Once a shopper is looking at mattresses in the $599 and up category, the support will be firm. The feel comes from the Comfort Layer.  Durability is the measure of how long the mattress will support the shopper in their sleep needs.

Shoppers rarely mention “isolating motion”, but they may say that they don’t want their sleep disturbed by their partner.  Appearance may not affect the amount of rest a person gets from their bed, but shoppers want an attractive piece of furniture compared to something that is plain.
Availability is important, but not everyone requires immediate delivery!  Retail Sales Associates tell me that the less a customer pays for a mattress, the sooner they want it.  The $399 customer wants to take it today, but the $1999 will wait 2 weeks or more.
Cost-Value-or Price, it’s all relative, for some shoppers $699 is too much, and for others $2000 is a bargain.  Just don’t try to guess your shopper’s pocket book. Warranty comes in last on shoppers’ lists. These days’ savvy shoppers understand that warranty does not equate to durability, comfort and satisfaction. It’s easy to quote warranty-just don’t use it to justify quality!

Next week-Queen versus King-Room Requirements

This series is written by Gordon Hecht and Denny Bradford, Ashley Sleep Directors of Sales. To comment or ask a question on any of the bedding tips in this series, contact Gordon Hecht at ghecht@ashleyfurniture.com.

Gordon Hecht is a 35+ year veteran of the Furniture Business, starting as a delivery helper in Las Vegas, NV.  He has served as a Regional Manager and Director of Training for a large Midwestern chain.  Currently with Ashley Sleep  division of  Ashley Furniture Industries, Gordon travels the East, Midwest, and Canada training retail sales teams on selling bedding and works with store owners to maximize sales.  Gordon resides in Columbus, OH with his wife, and has one adult son.

Denny Bradford started in the bedding business as a store manager for a Texas based waterbed dealer.  His 18 years of sales and management experience includes directing a seven-store bedding chain and serving as Bedding Director for a Dallas based retailer. Denny covers the Western US and Canada for Ashley Sleep.  He resides outside of Dallas, TX with his wife and son.

Gordon Hecht is a Growth and Development Manager for National Bedding Company’s America’s Mattress stores, nearly 400 locally owned and operated bedding stores across the country selling Serta-branded and America’s Mattress-branded mattresses. He started his 30+ years experience in the Home Furnishings industry in Las Vegas, NV as a delivery helper and driver.

He has been recognized for outstanding sales and management achievement with several organizations including Ashley Furniture HomeStores, Drexel-Heritage, RB Furniture, Reliable Stores, and Sofa Express. He has served as Store Manager, Multi-unit manager and National Director of Sales. With his first-hand knowledge of our industry’s front line, Gordon has devoted his career to guiding others to exceed their goals.

Joining National Bedding Company in 2014, as part of the Serta Retail Concepts Group With over 400 stores, America’s Mattress stores is one of the fastest growing bedding retailers in the country.

Co-author of the “Better Bedding Selling Tips” featured on Furniture World Online, Gordon has been a frequent contributor to company newsletters, and contributing writer for industry magazines.
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